Religious Awakening in Mexico and the Pope’s Visit

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Here is a link to my latest article on AQBlog, titled “Religious Awakening in Mexico and the Pope’s Visit” , published on March 22th, 2012. Please feel free to visit and comment. Here is a verbatim copy of it in case you prefer to read it on my personal blog, though I recommend actually going to the site because of additional content, other blogger’s articles, etc.

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Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to Mexico will begin on March 23 but unlike his predecessor, Benedict will not feel as comfortable calling Mexico siempre fiel—and so hopefully some of his agenda will include discussion on religious diversity. 

Pope John Paul II called Mexico “forever faithful” in 1990 due to Catholicism being the dominant faith in the country. However, rising popularity of other religions and the emergence of atheist and agnostic thought in the country could very well be pushing Mexico to a tipping point, leading to question the favored role Catholicism plays in sociopolitical life.

To this day, many large companies in Mexico (national and international) hold posadas, celebrate Christmas and observe other Catholic holidays such as Easter. Some even hold mass within their facilities to kick off special events. On the flip side, there are very few companies in Mexico that observe Yom Kippur or Ramadan. It is still a commonplace human resource practice to ask potential employees what their religion is during recruitment and—though none will publicly accept it—religion still plays a criteria in actual talent selection (otherwise, why would they ask about it?). This, by the way, is illegal under Article 3 of the Federal Labor Law.

Catholicism is not just favored in the private sector. During the first weeks of December and leading up to the 12th (Day of the Virgen de Guadalupe) Catholics are not only allowed to march on some of the busiest streets in the cities as part of their pilgrimage while causing transit chaos, they are even escorted by public officials to guarantee their safety. This is a nicety not usually awarded to other faiths and it is funded by taxes paid for by people of all faiths.

In Monterrey, people who park in unauthorized spaces close to a Catholic church on Sunday seldom get a ticket and, in the municipality of San Pedro, traffic officials stop cars in order to let the faithful cross the street to and from mass. This is the same municipality which in 1996 famously repealed (without clear legal justification) a permit given to the Mormon Church to build a temple next to a Catholic school. The Mormons were then left with the only option of establishing it in the outskirts of the metropolitan area. 

This differentiated treatment expected and accepted for and by many Catholics, is usually justified through statements such as “95 percent of the country is Catholic so it is ok to favor them” or the less defensive “this special treatment doesn’t hurt anyone. It doesn’t really matter.”

But religious intolerance does hurt society and becomes even more relevant when a critical mass of it is affected.  When my taxes are being used to protect and legitimize a group of people who block an avenue not because they are participating in some form of social protest but just so they can practice their faith, it matters. Every time somebody gets a parking ticket for breaking the law but a Catholic doesn’t because public officials look the other way if the offender is on their way to Sunday mass, it matters.

Moreover, according to the 2000 census the percentage of Mexican Catholics was not 95 percent, but actually 76.5 percent and rapidly dropping. It would be a conservative assumption to think that today at least 30 percent of the population is not Catholic—so when a governmental action disregards or minimizes the beliefs of more than 33 million people in the country, it certainly does matter.

It is understandable that Mexican Catholics would want to hold on to this favored position (who wouldn’t?) but for the sake of social wellbeing, they need to come to terms with the fact that Mexico can no longer be thought of as “a Catholic country.” Forward-thinking companies and government agencies would do well in recognizing that they need to start revising the assumptions under which they operate and evolve their practices in order to become more inclusive. The non-Catholic groups and their rights cannot and should no longer be ignored.

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Happy Valentine’s Day rant

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  • To the son of a bitch that stole my toy gun when I was 7 and I was walking through the market with my mom. I hope your criminal record continued to grow and now you’re rotting in some jail cell where Paco rides you every night.
  • To the idiot that decided liver was food. I wish you a lifetime of nausea.
  • To that doctor that went ahead and cast my leg even though no bones were broken. I trust you’ve recently been diagnosed with some sort of terminal disease which makes your rectum burn.
  • To my ex-boss whose idea of feedback was to say “you’re not really a good writer.” I took your job and have published more than 30 articles, some of which have been referenced by the New York Times, NBC and EL PAIS. What are you up to these days?
  • To that girl who said she wouldn’t be my girlfriend and is now married to that old, fat fart. So there you go.
  • To my friend’s mother who wouldn’t let me in her house because I wasn’t a Catholic. Hey, at least I’m not raping little children like the leader of that Order you belong too.
  • To people who play reggaeton. Why do you make us suffer?

That’s all I have to say about that.

Post inspired by Life in the boomer lane

Stalker Tuesdays? YOUR INPUT NEEDED!

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Awesome! “Jesus is Real” is back on my blog with his usual antics and threats. This is what he recently shared with me:

You miss me, motherfucker? I’m coming to your hometown to fuck you up boy, that is how much you will miss me. You are going to feel the power of the Lord Jesus Christ fucking you up with a steel rod in your head busted open like a watermelon dripping red liquid all over the place.

You stupid mexican beaner wetback immigrant, you should thank us for letting you live in our country. I am going to make you my slave and my gardener and make you eat my dick fro breakfast every tuesday.

Suck my balls and dick, you pussy.

…And here is my proposal for you, dear readers to have fun with this one. I’m going to post a few questions and I would love to get your input on any/all of them:

1. Since I’m not a Catholic and not very well-versed in scripture, can anyone tell me in what part of the Bible I can find Jesus Christ busting heads with a steel rod? It seems like a riveting chapter and probably a great read.

2. Do you think I should become Jesus is real’s gardener? I don’t have too much practice and I would hate destroying his wonderful outside decor.

3. What is your hypothesis on why Tuesdays should be the chosen day for me to eat his phallus? Get creative on this one!